Rukhnama Overdrive

by Nathan Hamm on 8/2/2004

Just when you thought that Turkmenistan couldn’t get any stranger… Knowledge of the Rukhnama is now required to get a driving license.

Knowing the highway code is no longer enough to get a driving licence in Turkmenistan, whose autocratic President Saparmurat Niyazov has told future drivers to cram his “sacred” writings to qualify.

“A 16-hour course of the sacred Rukhnama is one of the most important innovations in the (driving learning) programme … to ensure future drivers are educated in the spirit of high moral values of Turkmenistan’s society,” the state news agency quoted a Niyazov decree as saying on Monday.

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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